In the context of Enterprise software solutions, which one of these is the best lead?
An active project with identified need, budget, authority, need, and timescale?
An embryonic nurture opportunity which needs further development?
Easy one, eh? Well, the answer may surprise you.
While the defined project may seem appealing and a sure thing, it is highly likely that the customer in this scenario has already selected their preferred solution and if you decide to bid you could potentially find yourself making up the numbers in a beauty parade; or as leverage for helping the customer to get a better commercial deal. That’s going to cost you a lot in terms of the time and effort you put into the bid process.
Whereas the embryonic nurture opportunity gives you the chance to engage with and influence at a much earlier stage in the sales cycle. At a time when none of your competitors are in play or even aware that there is a buying opportunity. Yes, it will take longer and take more time. But the chances of you winning the business increase significantly. This puts you in a strong position to influence the customers strategy and even the Specification of Requirements for the solution.
We’ve seen some of the best ‘wins’ for our clients originate from embryonic nurture opportunities. The best example being a £56m contract that one of our clients secured across Europe. We found them the opportunity and hooked them up with the decision-maker and they had the vision to see its potential. It would have been so easy to take a short-term view and dismiss the lead as having no value. But they were smart and played the long game.
The lesson here is that when considering lead generation programmes, one way to maximise your ROI, is to play the long game and be ready for a mix of near-term and long-term opportunities. Engaging the services of a lead generation agency to help you get out of a hole in your current quarter is not necessarily going to pay off.